When the first video came out exposing Planned Parenthood’s senior director of medical services, Dr. Deborah Nucatola, discussing the sale of aborted babies’ body parts, I was deeply saddened. My thoughts immediately turned to the abortion clinic I’d walked into as an almost-19-year-old. I began to wonder, Did that clinic sell my baby’s body for profit? As my sadness turned to anger, I fumed, “I can’t believe abortion clinics aren’t only making money off people by ending the life of their children, but they’re doubling down by turning around and selling the bodies of these slain innocents!”
Similar thoughts churned in my mind until the second video appeared (and now subsequent videos), exposing yet another Planned Parenthood executive discussing the sale of aborted babies’ body parts. After this video I sensed God reminding me of my responsibility and blame in having an abortion. Taking responsibility for sin wasn’t a new biblical principle to me. Nevertheless, in light of all the focus on Planned Parenthood my own sin of abortion had seemed to fade into the background.
I Can’t Just Blame Planned Parenthood
Ever since the fall in Eden, men and women have sought to shift the blame for their sin onto someone else’s shoulders.
In Genesis 3, we see Adam shift blame to his wife, Eve, and even to God himself. Likewise, Eve shifts blame onto the serpent. Neither takes responsibility for his or her own actions; instead, they simply act as if their sin is someone else’s fault.
In the years immediately following my abortion, I shifted the blame too. I blamed my baby’s father. I blamed my parents who took me to the clinic. I even blamed God. I knew about his sovereignty over all creation, including a baby’s development inside the womb (Ps. 139:13–16). I knew he could’ve prevented my pregnancy. I knew he could’ve changed the circumstances surrounding my decision to have an abortion. But when it came right down to it, I was the one who decided to have sex outside of marriage. I was responsible for committing the act that resulted in my pregnancy, as well as the act that would end it.
While my child’s father, my parents, and the abortion clinic staff and doctors all share responsibility in my abortion, that doesn’t mean I blameshift it onto Planned Parenthood or anyone else. I could’ve said “no” to the pressure my parents were placing on me. I could’ve walked out of the clinic. I could’ve made an adoption plan for my baby. I was guilty of the sin of abortion because I chose to go through with the abortion.
Hope and Healing Await
I realize some of you reading this article may have also participated in an abortion in one way or another. Perhaps you drove her to the clinic. Maybe you pressured them to abort because you sincerely thought it was the best option for them. Perhaps you fathered the child and abortion was your way to “fix” how you misled a young woman to have sex in the first place. Maybe you’re the one who chose to have the abortion, ignoring all the counsel you received from those telling you not to.
While confessing the sin of abortion may seem like it heaps more judgment and condemnation on you, God’s Word reveals something entirely different. When we turn to Jesus Christ in our conviction of sin—instead of shifting blame over it, justifying it, or simply ignoring it—we find hope and healing in the one who bore God’s wrath for sin on the cross. Look at what God’s Word declares is available to us through Jesus’s finished work on the cross—when we confess and repent:
- “Whoever conceals their sins does not prosper, but the one who confesses and renounces them finds mercy” (Prov. 28:13).
- “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).
- “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord” (Acts 3:19).
Beauty from Ashes
God encourages us to turn to him in the darkness of our sin so that we can find the light of his grace. If you cannot say you’ve been truly healed by Christ from your part in an abortion, I want to encourage you to not simply put it in your past—locked away as something never to be spoken of again—but to reach out to Jesus, the ultimate healer, who wants to bring beauty from the ashes of your sin (see Isa. 61:1–4).
God desires to do a mighty work in our hearts and our world by helping the brokenhearted find healing in him.